Technology has transformed education all around the world. It gives easy access to curriculums, increases student independence, and improves interactivity with course material.
Using technology to pass on new concepts is hardly new. Thousands of years ago, someone figured out that they could use dye to paint on cave walls. It may look quite rudimentary to us today, but it was a leap for the caveman; for the first time, he could leave permanent figures on rock walls.
In more recent times, we utilize radio-enabled, on-air learning, and all students needed to do to interact with course material was tuned in at a given time. Many other innovations have proved useful for teachers and learners, including projectors, the Skinner teaching machine, and the photocopier.
Today, computers are a core part of the learning experience, and students are encouraged to use them as much as possible. Most nursing schools require that enrollees have a personal computer.
Instructors can use it to deliver the curriculum, and students can use it for research to complete assignments, interact with others in the classroom, and augment what they learn from their instructors.
For ABSN students, technology can be transformative, especially if they opt for online study by enrolling in a high quality ABSN online, like the course offered at Wilkes University. The course helps build foundational knowledge in nursing, and students gain the necessary skills to provide evidence-based care to patients of different ages. They are introduced to the cultural and economic factors that impact healthcare and are taught how to overcome barriers that get in the way of healthcare delivery.
As soon as students enroll in a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, they ought to explore how they can use available innovations to make study easier and more efficient. If they have their hands on the right tools and use them correctly, they will have an easier time covering the course material and preparing for tests and examinations.
What technologies are available to ABSN students?
There are possibly hundreds of technological innovations created for students, and what they use is entirely up to them.
Some are recommended by teachers and instructors, but in many cases, students get to choose whatever they feel comfortable with. It is impossible to highlight all the tools that are available to students here, but below are some of the most commonly used.
For those who know how to make use of the latest technology, textbooks are a thing of the past. They are heavy and difficult to lug around, and sometimes it isn’t easy to find what you’re looking for.
Today’s students can access textbooks on special tablets that are designed for just that. Those who have the device, which supports both Android and iOS, can join a dedicated site, pay a small fee, and gain access to all sorts of textbooks.
For ABS students this is significant especially if they are enrolled in online courses. It makes study seamless, and they have access to material that may not be available in their course.
With digital textbooks, they can read widely and learn from varied sources – knowledge that they can apply directly in their program and that will eventually make them smarter practitioners.
Note-takers are probably one of the coolest classroom inventions of recent times. Instead of learners frantically taking notes in the classroom, they set up the device and let it listen and write.
The notes are transferred automatically to mobile devices, Google Docs, and even email, and the typical note-taker can hold hundreds of hours of material. They can also record audio and play it back on demand.
Note-takers are specialized, and they have important features that are useful to students, but they can be replaced with mobile devices. Students can use their phones to record and save notes in class so that they can play back later at their convenience.
Tablets have become an important technological tool for students because they deliver convenience. They are lighter than textbooks and serve as a portal to all the knowledge a student needs to pass their exams.
Learners can use them to capture notes in video and audio, play them back, and summarize their lessons.
It is difficult to imagine a learning environment without flash drives, especially for those who regularly handle large amounts of data. Any learner who has a PC or laptop can plug in the flash drive and can study and revise wherever they are.
eBooks have transformed the classroom experience. For ABSN students they provide a depth and breadth of information that has not been available to nursing students before.
With a few subscriptions to the right websites, the learner has access to all sorts of learning material – it is like stepping into a library of nothing but medical texts.
Road testing apps
Road testing apps are used in study groups, and they are catching on fast. They allow students to network almost like on social media but within private spaces where they can study without distractions.
These are just some of the new tools that are available in the market for ABSN students and that can make a difference in how they study. There are numerous options, and what a nursing student opts for depends on how they learn best and what they are willing to spend.
If none of these is within budget, there is still a lot that the average student can do with a laptop and a mobile phone if they have the right programs installed.
Tips to utilize technology effectively when studying for an ABSN
Technology is a part of higher education, and in one way or another, every student who registers for a nursing course will have to use it.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that as helpful as it can be, it can also be a hindrance.
Anything, from ads flashing across a screen to friends trying to get in touch can get in the way of a student trying to achieve their revision goals. Students who want to use technology successfully need to come up with ways to minimize distractions, and the following tips should help.
Have clear fun times and clear study times, and don’t let the two overlaps. It isn’t unusual to come across students who are so distracted by games and social media that they fail their courses.
Have separate study devices if possible
Your mobile phone is a sort of social homing beacon that constantly gets outside communication that can be quite intrusive.
Some students opt to have separate study devices, and when it is time to catch up on their classwork they leave their everyday phones behind, find a quiet space, and focus on their studies.
Limit interaction with emails
Much like social media, emails are a time-suck. Once you decide to open them, it can take hours to browse through them and reply. This will eat into your study time.
It is best to set aside a time of day when you reply to emails, and let your contacts know that you only respond at that time. If something is very urgent and they need a response right away, they should give you a call.
Limit IM time
IMs are also not a good idea during study time. If you have set aside a certain time of day to revise and catch up with your notes, it is best to turn off all IM chats and only get back to them after you’re done.
Join the right class groups
If you are taking an ABSN online, you will be required to join a discussion group, but you may realize that a lot of the conversation doesn’t always have to do with what you learned in class.
Often, the more serious students form a group of their own where they can focus on class material. Joining the smaller, more focused group will save you from wasting time, and online discussions can be a lot more productive.
Choose technology carefully
Although there’s a lot of technology that’s been developed for educational use, not all of it is ideal. Some of it doesn’t give a good return on investment, and students have to be careful what they choose.
Think about what you want and how you plan to use it to make study easier. Before you commit any money toward, it sees if you can take it for a test run. It doesn’t make any sense to spend a few hundred dollars on a device or software that you will only use once in a while.
Be smart about uncovering information
Often you will need to refer to scholarly articles, and these can be difficult to find by Googling. Instead of wasting 10 minutes searching for a paper, join your online school library and one other source of academic papers, and you will find most of the published studies, articles, and papers there.
Define your goals before you start an information search
How many times do you start searching for one thing and end up going down a completely different path, looking at material that isn’t relevant to your original search?
You can save a lot of time if you develop online discipline and always chase only the information you need for your coursework.
Check your sources
It has become more important than ever to verify information, and it is especially critical for students. If they end up with the wrong information, it will affect their result.
Always check that information sources are credible and that they are well-known in the nursing education fraternity. Make it a habit to double and even triple-check sources and the information they provide.
Technology isn’t a substitute for your instructors
You can get a lot done with the right tools and apps, but they are not a replacement for your teachers. Even if you have invested in the most expensive gadgets and the best apps, you should take your lessons seriously, attend lectures, take notes, and complete tests and assignments.
Be wary of very new tools
Innovations occur at a breath-taking pace, but not all of them are good for students. Before you use new devices and new apps, check to make sure that they are accurate and can be relied upon. Find out whether other students are using them and if they think they are helpful.
A good example of this is the use of AI in the classroom. As soon as ChatGPT was released, some students rushed to use it to complete assignments, assuming that it would provide original and accurate answers. As it turns out, it doesn’t, and it cannot even provide proper citations.
Take some time off from your books to take care of yourself
Student burnout is becoming a common phenomenon, and it can affect how well a student does. Just because you have the latest technology doesn’t mean that you should study endlessly.
Take some time to relax and digest what you have learned so far, and make sure to get some exercise and regularly eat a balanced diet.
If you start to experience symptoms of stress or overwork, take a few days off from studying and focus on taking care of yourself. Find out what resources are available within your institution that can help alleviate some of your burdens and make use of them.
Choose tools wisely
Used in the right way, technology has the potential to help nursing students achieve great results.
There are many tools and programs available today that eliminate rote tasks like notetaking, making classroom learning easier and more fun. However, learners ought to investigate what tools and programs are ideal for their course before they invest time and money. Some innovations, although impressive at first glance, are not very useful in the long term.